Packing Tips For Your Cruise Vacation

travel packing tips
Need some help with packing for your cruise? While packing for a vacation may seem like a no-brainer, there are actually a few guidelines you should follow with respect to packing for cruises.

First, don’t expect to pack extremely lightly and then buy most of your essentials on board. While you will find some available merchandise, toiletries, and even clothing on the cruise ship, most items will very likely be overpriced (because of premiums), and may not be exactly what you’re looking for or what you need.

Find out whether the cruise you’ve selected is formal, casual, or both, and then pack accordingly. Keep in mind that in most cases, formal means “semi-formal” on cruises. This means that instead of donning your best tuxedo and fancy ball gown, opt for a nice suit and a pretty cocktail dress instead. Think of dressing for a nice church wedding, and you’ll be set. If you’re on a formal cruise but don’t want to dress up, eat at different times, ask about casual meals, or order room service.

Pack non-bulky, lightweight clothes that don’t wrinkle easily, and that you can wear several times on the ship. For example, a nice pair of dark jeans can be dressed up or down, a lightweight men’s blazer can also be dressed up or down, and a simple black skirt can be worn with different tops, blouses, and jackets for different looks.

Plan to do laundry at least once during your cruise, as most cruises have self-serve laundry facilities on board. This way, you can avoid over-packing, particularly if you’re going on a longer cruise. Another way to cut down on the amount of clothing you pack is to plan to wear any souvenir clothing you know you’re going to buy on the cruise, which will save you some space, and won’t force you to “make room” for your purchases for the trip home. For toiletries, use smaller containers and sizes, like travel-size shampoo, soap, and toothbrush/toothpaste.

Pack according to where your cruise ship will take you, and what season it is. For example, if you’re on a tropical cruise (no matter what time of year), pack very light cotton layers. If you’re not sure, find out what the climate is like in that area and at that time of year, or ask your cruise agent.

It’s not recommended to pack any of your most expensive items, as you’ll likely worry about them getting lost or stolen for the entire cruise. Leave them at home and bring along cheaper substitutes. Keep all your necessary valuable items-money, documents, identification, medicine, camera, cell phone-with you on your carry-on.

Finally, check with a cruise agent to make sure you’re aware of any special requirements or restrictions (for example, most lines won’t let you bring alcohol with you) with respect to packing for your specific cruise.